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The Other Side Of A World Without You

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I don’t own anything.

 

Numb. That’s all that Dr. Guy Secretan had felt when his best friend, Mac Macartney had died.

He’d been there, holding Mac’s hand at the end.

Mac had kept on smiling until that god awful fucking disease took him.

Kept cracking jokes until he could no longer speak, until his only words were a pained whisper and were to Caroline.

Whom he had married only a few months previously to this.

Guy knew he’d never really be good enough for Caroline, or that they were even as good as a match as he thought they’d be.

At first it was always just to prove that he’d still got it and even as he developed genuine feelings for Caroline, they were more of friendship and it still came down to just trying to get one over on Mac.

He and Caroline are good friends now and that’s all.

As, Mac had pointed out gently to him that their friendship worked better and that she’ll be his best friend when he’s gone.

That, there’s someone for everyone and ohh look, Sue White is single, having gotten bored of whatever ‘boyfriend’ she had found.

 

Guy has first objected, unable to understand why Mac would suggest this.

Yes, he and Sue have had sex.

It was great sex, terrifying, electric, mind blowing, borderline illegal sex, where in which Guy Secretan learnt that he was not always meant to be the dominant one in the bedroom.

The sexual encounter that had always left him wanting more from her as he’d never really managed to get over it.

Because it was that good.

However, still he could never admit that, that Sue completely rocked his world and made him into the submissive one.

It would leave his reputation in tatters.

Which is why he was the way he was with her since then.

Yet, he’s made no effort to actually hide from Sue herself that he wanted to sleep with her again and after Mac and Caroline’s wedding, Mac had pretty much locked them in a cupboard and told them this.

“You two are perfect for each other, you’re both bloody arseholes and are willing to fuck your way though anyone, Guy’s never gotten over that sexual encounter with you because it actually broke him, despite what he says and is probably going to say, so get get on with it. You two make sense, just like me and Caroline make sense, you two make sense because you’re both so bloody alike and complement each other well, now enjoy.” Mac had ranted.

Mac had also regretted leaving Guy and Sue in said cupboard very soon after as of course he’d had to stay to let them out.

Which meant that he heard everything.

Things that no best friend should hear.

 

However, Mac’s intervention had worked and Guy and Sue have been having sex on a regular basis.

To the point where she’s letting him stay over at her’s even though she’ll make him sleep on a sofa in her room, because he still gets ‘all cuddly.’

Or she’ll create a large pillow wall between them and let him stay on the bed after they’ve done the deed.

Either way, Guy is happy. He’s having sex with a beautiful woman, who’s just started to not threaten death to him every time he calls her his girlfriend.

They have a weird but fantastic relationship and Guy wouldn’t want it any other way.

Mac had been right, he and Sue’s personalities work well together.

She is definitely the right one for him, that’s for certain.

 

The only issue with everything that has happened since Mac and Caroline’s lovely wedding, is the fact that Mac is still dying.

To be fair, he’d lived longer then both Mac and others doctor’s had thought.

They’d given him a few weeks after the wedding and Mac had surprised them by living for a full three months.

However, the time did come and at the end, it was Caroline and Guy holding his hands as he’d died.

In hindsight, Guy should’ve guessed that it was coming that day.

 

Mac had seemed brighter then he had been for weeks, months even.

They always say that the dying have their last burst of light on the day that they pass over into death.

He’d invited Boyce in and told him to take Statham’s job and make sure that everyone forgets who that freak was.

They’d shaken hands and Mac had given him a set of pens to use that he would use to work with when he was starting out at the hospital.

Telling him to make the radiology department better then Statham ever had.

He’d invited the ladies from the office in and told them the same except to wipe Joanna’s memory from the hospital workers minds.

He’d invited everyone from his surgical team into his room and had told them to keep being them and to never change and to also do him a big favour and remember that Guy and Caroline are in charge.

To a point, he’d requested them to put up a big picture frame of him with the words, ‘I am the the Captain.’ Over right across from where the surgeries are taking place, so Guy and Caroline always know who the boss is.

Then he’d had a quick but meaningful conversation with Sue White, which she hadn’t talked about when she’d left with tears in her eyes.

That’s what should’ve given the whole thing away, Guy thinks to himself now.

Sue never shows any tears in the workplace.

 

Mac had then had Martin in, told him that he hearted Martin and that he would pass his exams one day.

He’d given Martin a whole case filled with all the study material he’d ever used to pass his exams and told Martin to sit in a chair across the room and start working on his next resit now and not to stop revising until he’s sitting in that exam hall.

 

Mac had then had Guy in and kept him talking for a whole six hours.

They laughed and they joked and talked about all the good times they’ve shared together.

Mac had then crushed Guy’s hand in his and told him to always remember that no matter what, that Guy will always be his best friend.

That he means more to Mac then he will ever know and that he loves him unconditionally.

He’d also begged Guy to look after Caroline, to be her friend and guide her when she’s lonely.

Be a good wingman for her, Mac had requested.

Make sure she moves on with her life.

Both of them knew that it would be harder then that as Caroline loves Mac dearly and more than anything in the world.

It doesn’t help that Caroline is three months with triplets, because of course Mac doesn’t do anything that isn’t dramatic as hell and their babies had been conceived on their wedding night.

Caroline isn’t distraught about it, surprisingly.

Yes, it will break her heart that her children will never know their father but in away she’s just happy that she won’t be completely alone once Mac is gone.

That there will be a part of Mac in each of them.

Mac had Guy promise him to help Caroline out with the kids and to be the most brilliant godfather ever seen.

Guy, agreeing had nudged Mac and had laughed, telling him to stop getting all heavy and depressing on him, the massive ginger headed idiot and they laughed.

Fucking hell, they laughed.

 

Then Mac had just wanted Caroline with him.

Martin had been allowed to stay in the corner of the room but Guy had wanted to go, to leave Mac with his wife.

Mac spent a whole twelve hours of lucidity with Caroline.

Mac had then done nothing but talk to Caroline about the babies.

They chose their names there and then.

Deciding that if it was three boys then, it should be Guy, Martin and Avery and if it were three girls then it should be Valerie (after Guy’s middle name that Mac will never not find amusing), Angela and Wanda.

If it was a mix, Mac had told Caroline just to pick which ones she liked best.

Caroline, whilst holding back tears had then asked if she could call one of them Mac.

Mac had immediately protested and told Caroline that the only reason he’s not allowing that is because of an old bet he’d made with Guy which Guy had lost and now has to name his first born son after Mac.

“I told him to spell it with a ‘k’ so it would be spelt ‘Mack’ so we didn’t get too confused because i thought I’d still be here to see Guy have kids.” Mac had explained with a sad laugh.

Mac had then done nothing but tell Caroline that he loves her and that she needs to move past this when it happens and that she’ll be a brilliant mum and is the great love of his life that he’d never thought he’d find.

Having never thought he’d feel this way about a woman after Holly, but he’s made peace with that now because Caroline is a thousand times more of a wonderful person then she ever was.

Caroline is his one and Mac is her one.

“There is nothing I love more in this whole wide universe then you and when I cross over into the other realm. I’m still going to love you. There is nothing that could ever make me stop loving you.”

That had been one of the last lucid things Mac had said because, then he’d started to go downhill.

“Could you go and get Guy for me? I’m really not feeling that well.” Mac had asked hoarsely.

Which is when Caroline had, had the sinking feeling that, this was it.

Once Guy had been found, Mac had smiled weakly at the sight of him.

Having held on so that he could die with his wife and best friend by his side.

Unsure of what to do, Caroline and Guy had just stood there whilst Martin stood in the background, shaking as tears streamed down his cheeks.

“Come on, come hold my hands.” Mac had lifted both his hands up, offering them to Caroline and Guy.

Taking his hands in theirs, they’d sat down beside Mac and he’d squeezed their hands tightly.

“Thank you.” He’d smiled at them both.

“Don’t want to see either of you crying, you’ll get through this.” He’d whispered to them as Caroline had choked back sobs and Guy had felt tears in his eyes.

“You’re both here, thank you, thank you.” He’d croaked again.

“I love you both, very much, please understand that. I love you both.” Mac had assured them.

“Nothing but love.” He’d squeezed their hands again and for the last time.

He’d died with a warm smile on his face, clutching onto Caroline and Guy’s hands.

They’d just sat there then.

Caroline weeping softly as she held onto Mac’s hand and Martin sobbing softly too as he’d informed the other doctor’s of the time of death.

Guy had just sat there, in stunned silence, holding onto his best friend’s hand.

His best friend who was there but also wasn’t.

Gone to the other side.

 

Mac’s funeral was hard.

No matter how much Mac had tried to make it the complete opposite to a funeral, it had still been gut wrenching and painful.

Mac had banned black.

No one was allowed to wear black. Only colour, he wanted everyone to be in colour.

He’d wanted his coffin covered in artwork.

Paintings from the children in the children’s ward of the hospital.

Drawings, paintings, everything.

He’d wanted them to go mad.

He also didn’t want people to be stood in the church for too long and told them to not watch him be buried but go straight to the wake afterwards.

To celebrate his life.

He’d wanted everything to be as fun as possible.

Bouncy castles, dancing, music, games, alcohol, jokes, laughter and not a hint of healthy food.

That’s what Mac had requested and that’s what Mac had gotten.

It was the perfect send off to a brilliant and charming man.

Ironic seeing as the song Mac had playing as his coffin had been taken to the grounds to be buried was ‘This Charming Man.’

The day marked the end of something.

The end of a wonderful man’s brilliant life and yet very few tears were shed.

No crying, if you can help it was one of Mac’s requests.

He’d wanted it to be a celebration of his life and it was.

The celebration of Mac Macartney.

Because that’s who he is was and that’s the name written on his grave stone.

‘Mac Macartney.’

Because, that’s what his first name is.

Just Mac, plain old Mac.

Brilliant Mac.

 

It was the night of Mac’s funeral.

Everyone had gone home, Martin had decided to stay with Caroline that night so that she wasn’t on her own and Guy had stayed for a while too before feeling emotionally exhausted.

Which is when he’d gone to Sue’s, who’d been waiting up for him.

“Why did he have to go and fucking die like that? Seriously, he was an inconsiderate prick in life and he’s an inconsiderate prick in death.” Guy grumbled as he’d thrown himself down onto the sofa, putting his head in Sue’s lap.

Relishing in the sensation of her running her fingers through his hair.

Everything’s going to be just fine, Guy thinks to himself.

It’s just going to take a while to find a new normal.

 

It was late in the night when he’d been lying next to Sue, whom had chosen to forgo the pillow wall to tonight.

Knowing in her heart that Guy might need her.

Guy couldn’t even stop himself.

He’d woken up sobbing.

The reality hitting him hard there and then.

Mac is dead. He’s gone and he’s not coming back.

His best friend is gone.

Tears streaming down his cheeks, Guy had quickly gotten out of bed.

Not wanting to wake Sue up and had headed downstairs.

Sitting on the steps of her back door, letting the summer breeze cool him down a little, Guy had buried his head in his hands and started to sob.

 

Feeling a slight change in the temperature, Sue had woken up, surprised not to see Guy next to her or trying to cuddle up to her.

Wondering where he’d gotten to, Sue had gotten up, sliding on a silky rose gold coloured dressing gown before making her way downstairs.

She could hear the sobs the second she’d gotten downstairs.

She’d been expecting this, Guy had never really processed Mac’s death properly.

She’d come to find him the second she’d learnt that Mac had passed and he hadn’t cried once, he’d just given her a hug and called Mac a fucking arsehole for leaving them like this.

However, right now, Guy is crying his eyes out for his best friend.

Moving slowly towards him, Sue slides into the gap between Guy and the doorframe.

Sitting herself down, she just looks and waits for him.

“It’s not fair, he, he didn’t deserve that, he shouldn’t be gone, it’s not fair, it’s not fair.” Guy sobs shaking his head as he continues to sob.

Sue’s heart goes out to him, it does.

She spent a long time loving Dr. Macartney and is also rather devastated that he’s no longer with them.

The day he’d died, she knew that he was going to die the second he’d invited her to visit him.

She’d looked him in the eye and told him there and then.

‘You’re going to die today, aren’t you?’

‘I think I am.’ Mac hand told her before begging her to never stop tormenting the people of the hospital, they need it to toughen them up, he’d told her.

Never change, is what he’d said.

Yet he had begged her to stay with Guy, to keep an eye on him and just be there for him.

He’d made her promise him that she would be and Sue’s not about to break her promise to a deadman.

It’s not like she doesn’t care about Dr. Secretan anyway.

“C’mere, honey, c’mere.” Sue puts an arm around Guy’s trembling form.

Guy had gone into her arms immediately, holding onto her as he’d sobbed.

“He’s an arsehole, he’s an arsehole for leaving us, for dying like that. He must have planned it, it’s the sort of thing that he’d do the ginger bastard. I can’t believe he’d do this, he should still be here, he...” Guy trails off as he tries to clear his tears.

“He was my best friend.”

“And he always will be.” Sue assures him.

“He loved you and he’d have done anything for you. Mac was the type of person who would’ve done anything for anybody, including me. He was a good man and he will be missed and by no one more than you and Dr. Trodd.”

“Technically it’s Dr. Trodd-Macartney now.” Guy sniffs.

“Nah, she’ll always be Dr. Trodd to me, could go to Mrs. Trodd but that’s about it.” Sue smirks a little, causing Guy to laugh a little.

“It feels like I’ve lost a part of me, he was my best friend and he may have been the biggest cock going but...”

“He was your best friend and you loved him, just like he loved you and this is going to be hard, it’s going to be fucking hard but, you’re not on your own.” Sue assures him.

“No, I know. I know that, I just...”

“What?”

“I don’t know how we’re going to recover from this.”

“Well, not freezing to death will be a step, come on. Mac would bloody rise from the dead if he could see us freezing an arses off right now.” Sue smiles a little, rising to her feet and pulling Guy with her, holding his hand.

“Would you kill me if I asked for a hug?” Guy asks as they’re heading back up the stairs.

“You get a free pass tonight, be a cuddly as you have to be. I won’t kill you.” Sue promises him.

Which is why, when she climbs into bed, Guy immediately wraps his arms around her, holding her close as he uses her chest as a pillow.

Needing to listen to her heartbeat to reassure himself that he’s not alone and that whilst his best friend in the whole wide universe may be on the other side right now, that his girlfriend is not and is alive and in his arms.

Running her fingers through his hair with one had in a soft, soothing motion, Sue also rubs his back, trying to calm him into sleep as he starts to cry again.

Shaking with sobs for his best friend as Sue holds onto him.

Trying to give him some solace after the events of the last few weeks.

Never about let him go as he cries for Mac, whom Sue hopes in on the other side in a world without pain.

Far away from them but completely and utterly at peace.